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D.C. United may have the Most Free Agents at the End of 2015

Stipulations of course, but the (potential) departures could be significant.

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Some of you may have been watching D.C. United get eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. Others still may have seen it on television. But in case you missed it, Major League Soccer's owners and Players' Union agreed to a framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The five-year deal includes free agency, something the players had been fighting to earn during negotiations. Details on the agreement are still coming out, though most accounts have the criteria for free agency as 28 years older and eight years of service in the League, down from the owners' initial proposal of 32 years of age and 10 years of service with one team.

Assuming the 28/8 criteria is definite, the Columbus Crew SC website Massive Report put together a list of players who not only who fell into the 32/10/1 criteria (hey, Bryan Namoff!) but also the presumed agreed upon 28/8 criteria. D.C. United is tied with the San Jose Earthquakes for the most potential free agents at the end of the 2015 season with six, but the potential UFAs for D.C. United are:

  • Bobby Boswell
  • Chris Rolfe
  • Davy Arnaud
  • Eddie Johnson
  • Fabian Espindola
  • Sean Franklin
Knowing what (we think) we know about D.C. United's contracts, we are fairly certain that Arnaud and Johnson's contracts expire at the end of the 2015 season as is. Espindola is a newly established Designated Player and fondness for him aside, an aspiring MLS club would have to keep him at such a level to acquire his services. Similar contract lengths of two years with club options of a third may have been extended to Franklin and Boswell keeping 105% of their previous salaries (when they were acquired in the re-entry draft) if Dave Kasper's tendencies to these deals are any indication. Which brings up to Rolfe, whose deal was renegotiated by the Chicago Fire at the end of 2013. The money would have been for around $200,000 or so, but the term would be unknown.

Obviously, we are all in new territory here to a degree, and Major League Soccer is still Major League Soccer, so who the hell knows if there is any sort of tiering that may be involved, if current clubs get right of first refusal, if any or all of these players will be true free agents and when, or what have you. Regardless, it will be a situation worth monitoring for D.C. United fans.

Big thanks to Massive Report for putting together that list which you can check out through here.